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Volume 3, Issue 3


Fall 2009

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Welcome to the Fall 2009 edition of The Culture and Conflict Review. The Program for Culture & Conflict Studies has been fully engaged over the past few months delivering cutting-edge research on pressing issues in Afghanistan as attention to the war continues to rise, and as the Obama Administration continues its deliberations on our strategic policies.

In this edition of the Review, we are proud to present a diverse set of new articles, as well as some recent news coverage of our ongoing efforts to shed light on the nexus of culture and conflict in South Asia. This edition's articles focus on factors of tactical, operational and strategic importance in the South Asia arena. As always, we welcome your comments, suggestions and articles for future editions. This quarter’s articles include the following:

  • Developing an IO Environmental Assessment in Khost Province, Afghanistan by Robert J. Bebber, PhD, ENS, USN
  • Engaging Afghans: KLE Keys to Success by Capt. Don Moss
  • The Federally Administered Tribal Areas: A Case Study in Health Capital and Democracy by Jarad Van Wagoner
  • Employing Data Fusion in Cultural Analysis and Counterinsurgency in Tribal Social Systems by Steffen Merten
  • The Status of US/ISAF Strategic Communications Efforts in Afghanistan by Michael Cohn
  • Operation Nusrat (Victory): Understanding the Taliban Threat to Kunduz Province by Matthew C. DuPee
  • Tribe, State, and War: Balancing the Subcomponents of World Order by Barry Zellin

We also present a news report on the recent Afghan Theatre Conference, held recently at NPS:

  • Afghan Theatre Conference Aims to Impact Strategies in the Field by Dale Kuska

New student theses include:

  • Implications of Societal Fragmentation for State Formation: Can Democracy Succeed in Afghanistan? by Jeffrey D. Rhinefield (March 2006)

Afghanistan is facing the daunting challenge of creating a stable, all inclusive and democratically based government that will be viewed as legitimate among all ethnic, social and religious groups. The focus of this thesis is on ethnic fragmentation, nationalism, and social structure, as they relate to state formation and democratic development. Four former Afghan regimes are examined and used as case studies in this effort. Specifically, these regimes are analyzed in order to determine how each attempted to overcome cleavages within society during the process of state formation. The case study findings are then used to assess the current attempt to build a democratic Afghanistan. The thesis concludes with an assessment for success of the current Afghan government and presents recommendations for increasing the overall probability for Afghan democratic development and national cohesion.

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